12 Kitchen Cabinet Features That Make Life Easier

The kitchen is the most important room in your home, but it’s also a working room. The cabinets in your kitchen don’t need to be cookie-cutter. In fact, custom cabinet features can make your life a lot easier.

“We work really hard to provide a customer with designs that meet the ideas they have for their kitchen,” says Gary Klaybor, the kitchen and bath division general manager at Big C Lumber. “We want them to have the convenience and accessories that are right for them.”

Custom cabinets can come in a variety of styles, shapes, and designs, but they all have one thing in common: they’re limited by the overall design of your kitchen. Klaybor says that it’s important to have in-house measurements done when you want to install custom cabinets because there are limitations in the size of the cabinets.

“We work really hard to educate people about why some things can be put into their kitchen and why some can’t,” he says. “As an example, centering a sink on the center of a window is extremely important, so your cabinet options are limited by the space you have available and the sizes of the cabinets.”

Klaybor points to kitchen islands as an example. He says they’re popular options that people want to add into their kitchens, but sometimes there’s just not enough room.

“A homeowner’s influence and the space in their kitchen has a lot to do with how the design comes together,” Klaybor says. “We work to put the features into the cabinets and arrange them in an order that makes the most sense to be usable in their space.”

Because of material shortages due to the pandemic, lead times for the construction of custom cabinets are extended nationwide. Materials like plywood, specialty woods, and resins are difficult to find. For the time being, Klaybor says to expect to wait anywhere from 4 to 18 weeks to complete your project.

“The more someone can stay with the standard conveniences of the cabinet company, the sooner we can get those cabinets,” he says. “The lead times are still extended, but better than if you have something totally custom.”

The major advantage of working with Big C Lumber over a big box store is the attention you get from the design team, Klaybor says.

“When you come to us, you’re going to have the same person work with you through the entire project,” he says. ”Our designers start a project from the initial greeting to the final walkthrough of the project; they handle every aspect of the job.”

Check out the ideas below for some inspiration on custom cabinet features to make your life easier.


When you can’t build out, build up! A tower cabinet is a great way to maximize your vertical storage for large, bulky kitchen items like mixers and blenders. Give your designer the specs of your tools to ensure everything can fit in your tower.


Out of sight, out of mind. An appliance garage is a great way to hide countertop appliances that stay on your counter. This design is perfect for keeping together similar supplies — think coffee makers, stirrers, sugar, creamer, etc. — in a single spot that can blend in with the rest of your cabinets when not in use.


Garbage and recycling bins are, frankly, pretty ugly. They also take up valuable floor space. A simple pull-out hides your bins while keeping them easily accessible.


Custom cutting boards and chopping blocks are a useful way to clear up some counter space while only using a bit of cabinet space. As a bonus, if you install your cutting board over the top of your pull-out trash bin you can scrap your leftover bits directly into your garbage.


Pantries can quickly get out of control and things can go missing — and expire — without you realizing. Pull-out trays in your pantry are a great way to keep everything within arm’s reach. As a bonus, they can be added to your already existing pantry.


This is all about convenience. Instead of storing your cleaning supplies under your sink, install a cabinet. You’ll be bending and stretching enough while you clean so make your life easier by storing it at an arm’s length.


The last thing you want to do while you’re cooking is to scramble to find your spices. A small pull-out cabinet or tray for your spices installed near your stove can save you the stress of scrounging at the last minute. If you have room in your pull-out consider adding in your most often used vinegar and oils for added ease.


It’s no fun to get down on your hands and knees, stick your head into a dark cabinet, and root around for the pot or pan you need while you’re trying to cook. Deep drawers allow you to store your pots and pans out in the light (and at a comfortable height).


Tilt-out trays are a great addition to your sink area. You can keep your sink area open and conspicuously hide your scrub brushes, sponges, and scrappers while keeping them handy.


If you’re looking to save extra countertop space and have plenty of cabinets, a utensil caddy may be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s much more organized than tossing them into a drawer (and them getting jammed), too.


These handy drawers make it a snap to swap out your kitchen decor in a single, easy to access spot. The pull-out drawers mean you don’t have to dig into the back of the cabinet without being able to see but allows you to maximize your available space.


Baking and cooking sheets can be incredibly awkward to store. Their dimensions, though, mean that they’re perfect to be stored in custom-designed spaces that might otherwise be wasted. Adding inserts into a cabinet can help you separate your sheets and keep them better organized.


Big C Lumber has a team of 11 designers, some with more than 25 years of experience, ready to help you design the cabinets of your dreams.

Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling your current home, our team is available to help make your life easier through custom cabinetry.

We’ve been in business for 100 years — we stand behind our products and installation services! Call us at 574-272-6500 or 800-837-1882 to find out how we can help you with your cabinet project.